Why I’m not always clear on why we wrestling fans can get so invested in television ratings*, it’s completely understandable why wrestling companies and their media partners do.
So after Dynamite earned TNT the top spot in the cable ratings this week, you knew the hype was coming. Sure enough, this press release was sent around within hours of May 5’s numbers coming out:
“AEW: Dynamite” - Wednesday’s #1 Program on Cable Among A18-49
TNT’s AEW: Dynamite was last night’s #1 program on cable among A18-49, a first-time achievement for the wrestling franchise, as the show continues to have the youngest wrestling audience on television.
- AEW: Dynamite was the #1 program on cable among A18-49 on Wednesday, May 5 – a first-time feat for the wrestling franchise.
- Wednesday’s broadcast also averaged 1.1M Total Viewers, up 18% from last week.
- AEW: Dynamite has reached 19.1M viewers so far this year and has the youngest audience in wrestling.
Tony Khan, CEO, GM and Head of Creative of AEW said: “Being No. 1 in the ratings for the first time is a major triumph for AEW and a tribute to our talent and staff, everyone at TNT, and above all else our loyal fans and viewers, all of whom make it possible for us to bring wrestling to homes around the world every Wednesday night. With fans making a safe return in force to support our live shows, and our matches and stories becoming more explosive every week, the best of ‘AEW: Dynamite’ is ahead!”
AEW: Dynamite on TNT is giving fans a new wrestling experience for the first time in 20 years. Wrestling fans have wanted – and needed – something different, authentic and better for far too long. AEW answered the call. AEW is introducing a new generation of wrestlers to fans, offering fast-paced, high-impact competitions with real sports analytics. Founded by CEO, GM and Head of Creative Tony Khan, AEW is headlined by Cody & Brandi Rhodes, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), Chris Jericho, Hangman Page, Sting, MJF, Darby Allin, Hikaru Shida, Dr. Britt Baker and Jon Moxley.
AEW: Dynamite on TNT airs Wednesday nights from 8-10pm ET.
When we wrestling fans obsess over the TV numbers, there’s always some question of what they mean, or which ones really matter. This is a pretty clear indication that TNT and parent company WarnerMedia value the 18-49 year old demo number, and believe that touting it will attract advertising dollars and maximize their investment in AEW.
It’s an investment that continues to look like a great one, at a reported $43.75 million per year through 2023 (which isn’t to say FOX and NBCUniversal aren’t happy with their deals with WWE, but even if ratings above a .4 remain the exception rather than the rule, Dynamite is giving TNT a great ROI). It’s also a sign the next deal Tony Khan’s offered will have bigger numbers on it.
Maybe this will finally lead to some news about that second weekly TNT show that was announced last year along with the contract extension?
* Not putting myself above the fray here - I find the numbers and the discussion about them really interesting, even if I don’t always (or even often) know what they mean. But as long as it doesn’t look like a show I like is in danger of being cancelled, I don’t get the emotional attachment some fans have to ratings though. To each their own, though.